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Sondra Sherman .\  The Gemstone Apothecary at Villa Bengel

SONDRA SHERMAN  .\  Brooch, 2023. Aluminum, digital print, sterling silver, amethyst

IDAR OBERSTEIN, GERMANY - Artist Sondra Sherman's exhibition, The Gemstone Apothecary, will be presented at the Villa Bengel in Idar-Oberstein from May 16 until July 16, 2024. 

Regarding the 2019 residency that inspired the exhibition, Sherman writes that she "aspired to be open to the influence of the environment but sought impulses that would contribute to the progression of my research on jewelry as a type of psychological and social tool. It took me some time to find the connection between my research and the gemstone industry, which is the raison d'etre for the city of Idar-Oberstein. I learned from colleagues at the University that there are many firm believers in the healing effects of gemstones in the area. They referred me to the work of Michael Gienger, author of multiple books such as The Healing Stones Apothecary, and to the work of Hildegard of Bingen a German Benedictine abbess and polymath whose medicinal writings include a dictionary of healing stones. And there it was, the belief in healing stones was a new symbol for the psychological and social contexts of jewelry which have consistently motivated my artistic work."
 

The Gemstone Apothecary considers the psychology of superstition, as found in the belief in healing stones and amuletic jewelry. Abstracted molecular diagrams of conventional psychopharmacology, botanical medicinals, inkblots, and amulet jewelry references create a framework for the ‘healing’ stones. Drawing from the efficacy of belief/the placebo and the psycho-social functions of jewelry, The Gemstone Apothecary appraises a reflexive acceptance of beliefs that may help serve as a balm for the human psyche in uncertain times.

 

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